The US/ICOMOS KnowledgeExchange initiative is a new, thematic approach to US-international cultural resource exchange. The goal is to contribute to the climate change conversation by adding a component – cultural heritage. Cultural heritage, along with many other sectors is concerned about how climate change is affecting it. However, our heritage also contains valuable information about the limits of human resilience and changes in weather patterns that contribute to the conversation in important ways. US/ICOMOS hopes to expand the dialogue by updating its social media – whether you’re into blogs, Twitter, or Facebook – US/ICOMOS will keep you up-to-date with the latest and greatest on cultural heritage and climate change.
The idea for the KnowledgeExchange Climate Change Community was an outgrowth of US/ICOMOS’s participation in Pocantico Call to Action on Climate Impacts and Cultural Heritage convened at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s Pocantico Center in 2015. After the Pocantico Call to Action, US/ICOMOS’s Board of Trustees in March voted to create the US/ICOMOS Climate Change Knowledge Community as part of its KnowledgeExchange initiative.
US/ICOMOS’s KnowledgeExchange grows out of great concern for the well being of our collective heritage. Scientists around the world agree – growing levels of greenhouse gas emissions are increasing global temperatures. Growing global temperatures in turn are altering the planet we live in by reducing snowpack, changing rain patterns and making extreme events more prevalent. Changes in the way our environment functions, threatens several aspects of our lives including our tangible and intangible heritage. In the United States cultural heritage sites endangered by climate change range from the Statue of Liberty in New York to indigenous communities in Arizona. Although climate change is an international environmental problem, the impacts of climate change will vary locally. Local variations of climate, in turn, might affect heritage sites that are near and dear to our communities.
We believe that vigorous discussions and information sharing, benefits everyone as we can learn from each other’s experiences in dealing with climate change. Anyone can join the conversation by subscribing at www.usicomos.org, liking our Facebook page or following us on Twitter @USICOMOSClimate.